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Update on School Operations

We partner with School and Academy Trust sector bodies The Confederation of School Trusts (CST)Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL), Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and The Trust Network (TTN)They continue to advocate hard on behalf of schools and trusts and are offering guidance and advice on operational issues.

Some key items are highlighted below.

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) 

There is significant media attention currently on RAAC in schools.  Below is a round up of the latest advice;  

The government guidance on managing RAAC in schools was updated recently based on a new risk assessment/policy made by DfE. For full details please see the guidance here:  Guidance for responsible bodies and education settings with confirmed RAAC in their buildings ( 

If the DfE are already aware of a RAAC issue then we understand that they are contacting Schools and Trusts directly to discuss next steps. 

It may be the case that the DfE are unaware of RAAC issues, therefore if you have concerns then you should contact the DfE as noted in the guidance. This should be undertaken by submitting a RAAC questionnaire via the DfE Capital Portal 

If you have any questions on RAAC surveys, mitigation measures and risk assessments then please refer them to the DfE guidance above or get in touch with our team who have been carrying out RAAC surveys and mitigations measures over the past 18 months. 

Barker are working closely with the leading sector bodies (CST, ISBL, ASCL and TTN) on this issue and further guidance, briefings and surgery sessions will be held in the coming days and weeks to support schools and trusts address this issue. 

Academies Accounts Direction (AAD)

The latest Academies accounts direction 2022 to 2023 contains some changes in the area of estates and risk reporting:

  1. Clarified that the trustees’ report on principal risks and uncertainties should consider those risks impacting on trustees’ responsibilities to ensure the trust’s estate is safe, well maintained and complies with relevant regulations.
  2. Clarified that the review of value for money statement encompasses estates safety and management
  3. Suggested that accounting officers should consider demonstrating how they have effectively used relevant funding to ensure the trust’s estate is safe, well-maintained, and complies with relevant regulations, as one of their value for money examples
  4. Clarified that the statement on regularity, propriety and compliance encompasses estates safety and management.


Barker will be hosting a webinar with ASCL, ISBL, TTN and CST at 12:00 midday on 14 Sept 2023 to explore the new guidance and sample responses. You can REGISTER HERE.

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